A lot of people have suggested the shop could be used more as a venue given its size and the lack of small venues in Edinburgh. I’m not sure whether that will work long term but while we are closed it seems like a good idea. I always intended to ask this year’s best selling bands if they fancied doing something and I’ve already had a very positive response from those I’ve spoken to. We do of course have the huge advantage that we can borrow anything we need from Red Dog.
As you will all know I have refused to charge for in-stores or even insisted on a purchase but customers have said they would be happy to pay to see bands especially if it helped with the shop’s overheads which are of course considerable. Others have suggested regular nights in a venue maybe once a month but that would rely on the gigs actually making money which is not always easy these days !
Anyway putting all this together with hopefully Avalanche’s new focus on merchandise a plan has evolved though by no means a definite one. We will put on a series of gigs featuring our best selling bands but not what you might normally expect. We will offer the possibility of a matching t-shirt and/or poster. Possibly if a band can’t make it in January we will have some exclusive merchandise instead. They will be fundraisers in the same way the Scars reformed to play for us in the HMV Picture House and raised enough money to pay for our move to the Grassmarket.
I’ve also had a few enquiries from abroad and the UK as to whether it would be possible to watch in-stores live as we once did with a Pearl and the Puppets gig. These things can now be set up on a pay what you want basis and that will certainly be a possibility we will look into.
If all goes well we will be producing prints/posters commemorating Avalanche’s best selling albums over the years (the Neutral Milk Hotel poster and print has already been designed) and there will be a best 50 Sottish albums since the original vinyl release of “Tigermilk” which itself stands at No. 2 in the chart. This will tie in with hopefully exclusives from out top ten Scottish bands over the same time period.
With Biffy fans being offered an exclusive box set, Nick Cave signing fans’ exclusive box sets if they are quick enough and Roddy Woomble’s daily trip to the post office to send fans an album not out in shops until March we simply can not rely on selling music at all which is a shame as selling great music to people who don’t know about it what we do best.
Much as I did with the Withered Hand t-shirts, postcards and badges which Avalanche paid for the prints etc will always be available to bands. As I said in our much quoted manifesto we will always be keen to work with and help bands (Scottish or not) and that will still very much be the case even in these difficult times. How we do that may need to evolve from what has been the case for the last couple of years.
How all this works out will depend on a band by band basis as to what they feel comfortable with. Several of you have spotted Twilight Sad and Frightened Rabbit have our best selling album and top EP and have put 2+2 together to get 4. Both bands are of course great supporters of Avalanche but also very busy. For now you will need to keep your fingers crossed !
I’ll continue to be positive in working towards a new model that will work which is not always easy believe me given sales.
And yes Idlewild easily made our top 10 Scottish bands list.